WED 06 DEC 1989
Bush moves swiftly to deny ‘snub’ over EC
BY PETER STOTHARD IN WASHINGTON AND ROBIN OAKLEY IN LONDON (HOME NEWS)
President Bush made a breakfast-time telephone call to Mrs Thatcher yesterday to reassure her that, contrary to some press reports from Monday's Nato summit, there had been no change in US policy on the European Community.
The extraordinarily swift response reflected White House anxiety that the President's remarks on the pace of EC integration had been misinterpreted as a deliberate snub to the Prime Minister. Speaking at the end of his briefing to the allies about the Malta meeting with President Gorbachov, Mr Bush had said that “the events of our time call both for a continued, perhaps even intensified, effort by the Twelve to integrate, and a role for the EC as a magnet that draws the forces of reform towards Eastern Europe.” According to The Guardian, this was a “clear defiance” of Mrs Thatcher. The Daily Telegraph said the President had “intervened dramatically in the debate over the future of Europe”.
Mr Brent Scowcroft, the President's National Security Adviser, said Mr Bush had made the telephone call “to clarify some of the items that were in the British press this morning”. He said the President was referring to economic integration.